Filed in Zen (Chan)

Zen Every Day

A remembrance of Charlotte Joko BeckGerry Shishin Wick, Roshi

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I met Joko Beck in early 1972 at a small sitting group in the home of Ray Jordan, a student of Nyogen Sensaki and Soen Nakagawa. Joko was 55 years old and I was 30. Since we both worked at the University of California, San Diego, we quickly fell into a pattern of meeting regularly with our sack lunches. We took long walks discussing the vagaries of Zen. As I often saw her do, Joko would stare intensely and put out her finger while exclaiming “This is not real.” She had recently had a “big” experience in a sesshin with Yasutani Roshi, and she kept telling me that “it was horrible.” Yet she was more determined than ever to deepen her understanding.

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